I'm sure that those who served in the enlisted ranks of the military are seeing humor in his predicament. They are most likely imagining how he would have suffered among them. Enlisted men drank cowboy coffee, thick enough to float a horseshoe, without the mitigation of sugar. By the time the coffee reached them, the officers had already used all of it.
I didn't fully appreciate his dilemma until the day my father poured a cup of coffee from the pot my mother was cleaning. She was percolating baking soda instead of coffee grounds. As the stain dissolved from the interior of the pot it colored the water. The mountain of sugar my father added completed the disguise. My mother didn't return to the kitchen until he had drained half the cup.
I happened to be standing nearby when he looked up quizzically and asked my mother if she had changed brands of coffee. It took her a minute to decipher the situation and then she broke out laughing and left the room.
My father didn't like being laughed at. He was a mean SOB, but mom held the occurrences to a minimum and usually got away with it. My brother and I simply found an excuse to be somewhere else on these occasions. Inasmuch as I was aware that mom was cleaning the pot, I disappeared before my father could turn to me for an explanation.
I didn't begin drinking coffee until I enlisted in the Army. As an officer I exercised the privilege of rank and used sugar, but never as much as my father unless, in later years, I am forced to drink Starbucks. I simply can't stand the taste of burnt coffee. If we were at war, I would have to seed an Army of children to have enough sugar to drink that swill.